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RAFAEL NADAL NOT A FAN OF COURT CONDITIONS IN ROLAND GARROS THIS WEEK
Rafael Nadal says he found center court at the French Open more slippery than before, saying he could not always find his footing during his first-round victory.
The No. 1-ranked Nadal won his opener in straight sets on Court Philippe Chatrier but was down in both the second and third sets against Simone Bolelli. The match was played across two days because evening rain interrupted play during the third set.
"The court is more slippery than previous years," Nadal was quoted in French as saying. "I've never played on this court so slippery. I slipped, several times, when starting and changing directions.
The 32-year-old, who won the tournament in his first appearance in 2005 and has dominated it ever since, added that the clay did not appear to be as smooth as usual.
"If you look at the court carefully, there are a lot of white or grayish areas. There are some small 'stones' coming back up, and that makes it not have the same grip as previous years."
The red-clay courts at Roland Garros consist of a finely crushed red brick dust on top of a composite of several hard layers.
Nadal did not say if he had noticed any problems with any other courts on the grounds, but he is scheduled to play on Court Suzanne Lenglen for his second round.